How to Bleach a Shirt for Sublimation: Step By Step Guide

Sublimation is a popular technique for creating unique designs on different clothing apparel. This process is not complicated, and you can perform it at home by bleaching your shirt before sublimation.

Sublimation is a printing technique that involves heating ink into cloth to create a transfer of the image. Consequently, combining ink and fabric creates a full-colour, long-lasting print. Using the right poly mix ensures that the pattern will not fade, fracture, peel, or wash away since the ink is entrenched in the material. Compared to just applying a graphic using heat transfer vinyl, sublimation generates a considerably stronger bond to the substrate.

How to Bleach a Shirt for Sublimation: Guide

When employing sublimation processes, choosing the proper poly mix or 100% polyester is preferable. It’s because ink and polyester fabric are inseparable. The picture will be less transparent and have a faded appearance if you use 100% cotton or a higher cotton/poly combination. You may do this if you’re looking for a retro appearance!

When it comes to sublimation, you may ask how bleaching the cloth helps. With white polyester, bleaching is not necessary, but if you’re printing on darker poly blends, it will help your design shine out. Even though the pattern has bonded to the cloth, it will still seem brighter. When used with a sublimation print, bleaching gives shirts their distinct look and feel. People embrace the practice because it enables them to display their individuality and flair.

Bleaching a Shirt

Keep in mind that bleach is dangerous. You should keep it far from children and store it in a safe place. Because of hazardous vapours, appropriate ventilation, and personal protective equipment (PPE) are necessary while working indoors.

To apply the bleach safely, you can use a spray bottle or paintbrush. In this way, your hands remain safe during bleaching. Before bleaching your clothing, place a barrier within the shirt to prevent the bleach from soaking through to the back. Reusable containers include everything from boxes to garbage bags to tote lids. In my opinion, cardboard shirt forms are excellent because you can put your shirt over it and see precisely where your bleaching and pattern will go. You can easily order them through any online store at reasonable prices.

Because bleaching a full shirt is not an option, you’ll have to be creative. If a specific region of your shirt suits your design better, go ahead and do so; otherwise, spray in a random area for a unique appearance. Any bleaching procedure or appearance will go well with the wide variety of patterns. So, go ahead and try new patterns and make your life interesting.

How to stop the bleaching process?

You’ll need to use hydrogen peroxide on the cloth to halt the bleaching process. Using this method will assist keep the bleach from flowing into regions of the clothing that you don’t want to be bleached? 

Again, use a spray bottle and fill it with hydrogen peroxide. Now use it over the bleached parts of the shirt. When your shirt dries up, then stop spraying hydrogen peroxide spray. Your dress is ready to be washed when it is scorched. While you shouldn’t use fabric softener, a small amount of detergent is OK. Dry it as usual when it’s done washing. 

How to Bleach Shirts Without Sun

A light source may be utilized to speed up the bleaching process. You may either put your clothing outdoors or under a light to keep it cool when the sun is out. As previously said, use care and safety precautions while working inside. A light source isn’t required for the bleaching procedure to function, but it will take longer.

Many say that you must have sunshine to bleach. You don’t. It only takes a little longer if you don’t have sun. Then sprayed bleach on the shirt and waited for about 40 minutes. Your shirt will turn white in this period even without sunlight.

Do you Bleach Before or After Sublimation?

It is not a big deal; either you want to bleach the shirt before or after the sublimation process. It works well in both scenarios. However, there is a little difference in the brightness of the design. When you bleach the shirt first before sublimation, the final pattern will be clearer and more visible as compared to bleaching after sublimation.

You can genuinely do it anyway, and the procedure will work wonderfully. However, placing a bleached shirt under the heat press may occasionally produce burning. It will generate a yellow tinge on the bleached section of the garment. No need to be a concern since merely spraying hydrogen peroxide can aid get rid of the scorching.

In short, it is better to apply sublimation first. This is merely preference. You may bleach first and then push. Just be aware that if the white part is squeezed, it can become yellow like a burned hue if you would soak the garment in a combination of peroxide and water. This should eliminate some if not all of the yellowing.

Bleaching Method Along with Sublimation in Steps

Briefly, the method of bleaching for sublimation has the following steps

  1. Spray the area of the garment you want to sublimate with the nozzle set to spray rather than stream.
  2. Apply a few little sprays to the clothing before soaking it.
  3. If the shirt’s colour starts to fade, you may apply more bleach if necessary. The bleach will affect the shirt in just a few minutes.
  4. Remember that for sublimation, you need a large enough bleached area to accommodate the sublimation design.
  5. A 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water should be used whenever the bleaching process is halted.
  6. Sublimation is ready after the bleach spray shirt has dried again.
  7. For 60 seconds, preheat your heat press to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Your sublimation print should be placed print side down on the bleached-out areas. High-temperature tape may be used to secure it in place.
  8. Sublimation transfers may be applied once the heat press has reached its operating temperature.
  9. Remove the sublimation paper when it’s time to finish the process.
  10. And now you have a bleach sublimation shirt to show for it!

All these steps are easy to follow and make you able to give a new look to your clothes at a reasonable price. Remember that washing your dye sublimate shirts in a proper way will undoubtedly offer a longer-lasting life. But when it’s printed on premium textiles, you can expect it to survive nearly as long as you will. So, check the quality of your shirt before applying bleach and sublimation and try to use high-quality shirts for this procedure.



For a long time, bleach sublimation t-shirts have been widespread, and it’s simple to understand why. Bleach spray shirts are not only simple to produce but also completely customizable. Learn how to produce bleach sublimation t-shirts for beginners in the above-mentioned guidelines and make your life colourful by adding new colours to your shirts through it.

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